A History of Parasitic Plants from Ancient Herbals to Modern Scientific Research (Audio)

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The following audio presentation was recorded live at the 14th International Herb Symposium, June 2019.

This class will be a historical journey of classic literature/art of medicinal parasitic plants found around the world, such as Pedicularis spp, Cynomorium coccineum, Euphrasia spp, Monotropa spp, Santalum spp, and others. The understanding of these plants coincides with the scientific literation of parasites in the human body. This overlap mutualistic interconnecting exchanges comes into view with the invention of the microscope and cellular understanding that emerges in the mid 1800’s. Our understanding of fungal relationships and interconnected networks of exchanging nutrients is changing how we view the landscapes. This research expands our thinking not just of fungi, but also to those parasitic and hemi-parasitic medicinal plants that also have implications in not just how we understand their role in the ecology but also how they inform conservation when cultivation is not a viable option.

Please note that all courses and lessons from the 14th International Herb Symposium are audio only. Transcriptions are unavailable at this time. Featured image by Patrick Alexander. Image source: Flickr.

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